Saturday, July 27, 2013

This week (Jul 21-28), there were two field trips. First we had our conference with Milton Lautenschlager, sub-secretary of renewable energy for the State of Sao Paulo. Lautenschlager is essentially in charge of implementing new plans for renewables; he's also a medical doctor by training. Some basic energy stats he gave us:
--the 2009 world renewable energy index is 12.5% of the total energy index
--Brazil's renewable index is currently 65% of its total energy index (predominantly from hydro)
--Sao Paulo State is at 55.5% (predominantly from biomass)
The State of Sao Paulo is seeking to reach 69% by 2020, while reducing emissions by 20% (this will likely be cut from either the transportation or industry sectors--which together constitute 87% of emissions). Gains are to be made through biofuels, wind, and solar resources. Biofuels will increase through the intensification of cane production.  Solar, whose tapped energy is still quite small, should rise significantly (Sao Paulo has an estimated 12 GW capacity for solar panels, which is the equivalent of Germany's currently installed capacity).  Dr Lautenschlager stressed Sao Paulo's role as the "economic engine pulling Brazil forward", reeling in 1/3 of the country's GDP. That said, the state is under pressure hit its renewable targets while meeting its consumption levels, which are projected to rise.  
The second trip was to the EcoUrbis Landfill, located about an hour and half east of Sao Paulo. This landfill stores waste beneath ground in layers, collecting the gasses that emit from the wastes.  It then condenses the gasses into liquids before selling it as a fuel.  We then visited a neighboring landfill, the Sao Joao landfill. I learned that it reached its capacity of 25 million tons back in 2008, and afterwards installed 16 CAT generators to produce 175 MWh per plant per year.

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